My name is Lynn Buckley. I am a PhD student at University College Cork, Ireland. As part of the COORDINATE Transnational Access Visit Programme, I conducted a two-week visit in Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to examine the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study (BCS70) dataset. This visit was based at MMU’s Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) during September and October 2022. To inform my PhD project which focusses on the implementation of a paediatric outreach clinic set in a low socio-economic area, I hoped to conduct a piece of research exploring long-term effects of deprivation and poverty in early childhood.
From start to finish it was a truly wonderful experience. I was given the opportunity to talk with Dr Bentleyof PERU several times prior to the visit to discuss accommodation, flights, practicalities of the visit etc. All questions or concerns were answered straight away. At this point I also had the opportunity to speak with Jacqueline, another COORDINATE awardee. This was the start of another great friendship and research link. Throughout the course of the visit, we had onsite assistance with any issues with the data. Coming from a largely qualitative background, I was nervous about working with cohort and longitudinal datasets. Support was provided to me at every step of the way. Over the course of the first week, I gained confidence exploring the dataset, identifying and extracting variables, and developing the study dataset. By week two I was able to present my research plan and some initial findings to the PERU team. By the end of week two I had developed a comprehensive dataset, begun analysis, and was returning to Ireland confident that I had all I needed to progress with developing a research paper which would inform my PhD project, and which would contribute to the evidence on the impact of early childhood disadvantage on life outcomes.
During my time in MMU I met some amazing researchers in the fields of child health, education, and wellbeing. The team in PERU, including Prof Gary Pollock, made a huge effort to make us feel welcome. I hope tocontinue to develop these links, collaborate and share knowledge across our variousEuropean institutes going forward.
Lastly, my visit was not all data related, I took the opportunity to see the lovely sights of Manchester, and even fitted in a Man City game! All in all, I highly recommend applying for the COORDINATE TAV Programme, it has been a huge learning and networking experience for me; one which I will never forget.